Ridiculous New Law Would Permit Churchgoers to Ignore Traffic Lights

Illustration for article titled Ridiculous New Law Would Permit Churchgoers to Ignore Traffic Lights

Most states let religious believers abstain from laws that "substantially burden" their religious faith, but a new North Dakota ballot initiative would let people get away with some truly ridiculous shit in the name of God.

Here's the proposed state constitutional amendment:

Government may not burden a person's or religious organization's religious liberty. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.


How conveniently vague! If the initiative passes, anti-gay groups could ignore bans on discrimination — and people rushing to church on Sundays could claim it's illegal to make them stop at traffic lights. As Jesus famously said to the Israelites, "He who does not break traffic laws to praise me does not deserve a place in Heaven."

How A Radical North Dakota Ballot Initiative Could Allow The Religious Right To Ignore Traffic Lights [ThinkProgress]

Image via Michael Woodruff/Shutterstock.

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meritxell: an erotic life

Okay so there are now about a half dozen lawyers/people who went to law school who realize that this article is just incredibly misleading and everybody else thinks it's going to lead to Sharia law or blowing up abortion clinics? Way to report, Jezebel.



This amendment codifies the federal standard into the North Dakota constitution after Boerne v. Flores held that RFRA could not be applied to the states.